The National Labor Tribune, April 1, 1915


New York City, March 28 Pastor Russell spoke today at New York City Temple, W 63rd Street, near Broadway. We report his address from the text, "Hosanna! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Mark 11:9) The Pastor spoke in part as follows:

Little did the Jews understand the vast importance to them of the event which Christians commemorate on Palm Sunday. It will be remembered that this event occurred at the close of our Lord's earthly ministry three and one-half years after His baptism at Jordan and five days before His crucifixion. The Sabbath had been spent in rest at Bethany. Lazarus, whom Jesus had awakened from the sleep of death, had, with his sisters Martha and Mary, prepared a banquet for Jesus; and when the Sabbath closed, the supper was eaten.

It was at that time that Mary brought forth the box of valuable perfume, and therewith anointed our Lord's head and feet. It was the same occasion on which Judas had murmured against this expression of her loving devotion, declaring that it was wasteful, that the money should have been given to the poor. It was then that the Master had defended Mary and announced that the anointing was for His burial, which occurred later in the same week. It was then that He suggested to the disciples, "The poor ye have always with you; and whensoever ye will may do them good. But Me ye have not always."

The next morning, the first day of the week, corresponding to our Sunday, Jesus made ready for His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem as the King of Israel, according to the custom of their kings riding upon an ass and acclaimed by the populace. The incident had been foretold by the Prophet in detail, saying, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold thy King cometh unto thee; He is just, and having salvation; lowly and riding upon an ass." Zec. 9:9


When the Apostles had brought the ass and when Jesus sat thereon, the large concourse of people that had come from Jerusalem to see Jesus because of His awakening Lazarus, shouted aloud. They were filled with enthusiasm; and, after the manner of the time, some broke off palm branches and others laid their garments in the way, thus forming a car pet, as it were, in the road leading to Jerusalem. The shout of the people was just as the Prophet had declared. They hailed Jesus as the promised Son of David, the Messiah long waited for.

On previous occasions, when the people had sought to make Jesus a king, and after witnessing His marvelous works, He withdrew Himself from them until their ardor should cool; for He knew that the Father's due time had not yet come. But now He knew that His hour was come; and therefore He helped on with the enthusiasm by sending for the ass, etc.

Prominent sectarian Jews who were present, although unable to account for the miracle of the awakening of Lazarus from the dead, were unprepared to think of Jesus as the true Messiah or anything short of an impostor in that role. When these heard the multitude shouting and addressing Jesus, as the Messiah, they were offended, and sent word to Jesus that He should restrain the ignorant people who were thus acclaiming him. But instead of forbidding the ovation, Jesus intimated that it was the proper thing; that because the Prophet Zechariah had said, "Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!" therefore there must be a shout; and that if the people had not shouted, the very stones would have cried out rather than that the prophecy should go unfulfilled.

En route to Jerusalem, Jesus halted the ass and the procession at the top of the Mount of Olives; overlooking the Holy City. He wept while He pronounced His sentence upon it Unworthy! Unappreciative! As Jesus declared, "Israel knew not the time of their visitation." The time had come for Israel to receive the King; and not only were they ignorant of the matter collectively, but they were not in the heart condition to understand or appreciate. There Jesus cried, "O Jerusalem, that killest the Prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee! How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings; and ye would not!" (Matt. 23:37) For three and one-half years He and His faithful Apostles had been declaring that the Kingdom of God was at hand, that the people should repent and believe the Good Tidings; and even six months in advance of their preaching, John the Baptist and his disciples had declared the same message.

After those four years of faithful preaching throughout the length and the breath of Palestine, the nation was apparently as unprepared for Jesus as at the first. Hence our Lord's words, "Therefore I say unto you, Your House is left unto you desolate! Ye shall see Me no more until that day when ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!" That day is almost here! But the Jewish nation was there cast off from fellowship with God; as the Lord declared, "They knew not the time of their visititation." Luke 19:44

For more than eighteen centuries Israel has bee outcast from national favor. Thank God the day is at hand when, at the Second Coming of Mes siah, His Kingdom shall be turned over to them! Then, as He declares, they will be glad to say, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!" The long centuries of persecution and separation from Divine favor will have brought that people to a humbler condition of heart, where they will be glad to receive of Divine grace upon Divine terms. To this great event St. Paul refers us in Rom. 11:27 :34

Although God foreknew all that had happened, the offer of the Kingdom to Israel was just as bona-fide, just as genuine, as though He had not known. God always does His part. Whatever failure there is in any matter of contract belongs to humanity. [HGL704] If thus we have before our minds the origin of Palm Sunday and what it signified as the climax of the test of Natural Israel in respect to Messiah, we are prepared to go further and to note that in God's providence there is a similar test for us Christians.


St. John emphasized particularly the fact that the rejection of Messiah did not apply to all the individuals of that nation. As the Prophet had foretold (Rom. 11:27-33), there was a small, faithful section, or "remnant." This remnant accepted Christ and were accepted by Him. On the day of Pentecost this class became the nucleus or foundation of Spiritual Israel. Thus we read, "He came unto His own (nation), and His own received Him not [as a nation]; but to as many as received Him, to them gave He liberty [privilege] to become sons of God, even to them that believed on His name; which were begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" at Pentecost. John 1:11-13

Thus, so far as the spiritual part of God's great Promise to Abraham is concerned, it has passed from the Jewish nation; but there still remains for them a glorious earthly portion, to which they will be introduced at our Lord's Second Coming. Then their sins will be cancelled; and as a people the Hebrews will return to Divine favor and will inherit the earthly features of the Promise made to their fathers. Then through them God's blessing will be extended to all nations and peoples under Israel's New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34), which will become operative at the hands of their great Mediator The Christ, the Messiah in glory. But by that time the election of the saints of this Gospel Age will be complete; and The Messiah in glory will include Jesus the Head and the Church His Body joint-heirs with Him in the spiritual features of the Abrahamic Promise. Gal. 3:8, 16, 29

All this is clearly stated by the Apostle in Rom. 11:25-32. But somehow our eyes of understanding as Christians have been holden so that until of late, we have not seen these lengths and breadths, these heights and depths, of Divine Love and Wisdom. The fact that now we see these things is a corroborative evidence that they are nigh at hand. Just so it was at our Lord's First Advent. Many things pertaining to that day were com pletely hidden until the time of their fulfillment came; and then only the "Wise Virgins" were so blessed, so assisted, that they trimmed their Lamps (Psa. 119:105), and were effectively enabled to see these beauties in the Divine Plan of the Ages.


Apparently very few of the people of God have, until recently, noted the fact that Spiritual Israel has had a history parallel to that of Natural Israel. Few have seen that throughout the Scriptures these are dealt with as type and antitype. Few have noticed that from the death of Jacob to the death of Jesus finds it exact parallel of 1, 845 1/ 4 years between the death of Jesus and our day. Few have noticed that in both cases there have been a nominal and a real Israel. The nominal Jewish system was tried, and all but the "Israelites indeed" failed. Likewise will be the experience of Spiritual Israel.

The nominal Christian system will be tried, and all will fail except the spirit-begotten and faithful. As at the First Advent only a remnant, a small number, were found in the proper condition, so, the Scriptures clearly intimate, at the end of the Gospel Age only a small number will be found sufficiently saintly, zealous and loyal to God and the prin ciples of His Truth to be graduated with first honors.

As at the close of the Jewish Age there was a special period of testing and trying, lasting forty years, so there is a special sifting and testing due to come to Christendom during the closing forty years of this Gospel Age, before the inauguration of the glorious Millennial blessings. As the trials and tests came upon the Jews in a subtle manner, to test their faith and obedience, so even more subtle will be the trials and testings connected with the Harvest of the Gospel Age. Of this time the Lord through the Prophet said, "Who may abide the Day of His presence, and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord acceptable sacrifices." Mal. 3:2, 3


Natural and Spiritual Israel are contrasted. Through the Prophet the Lord foretold that Messiah would be "for a Stone of Stumbling and for a Rock of Offense to both the Houses of Israel" to Natural Israel and to Spiritual Israel. (Isa. 8:14) We have seen how the first House stumbled on that Palm Sunday commemorated today. They stumbled "because they knew not the day of their visitation." They did not know that the time had come for the election of the Kingdom class, hence they were not alert to their privileges, and failed to be in the proper condition of heart to receive the blessings. Or we might state the matter reversely and say that those who did not recognize and accept Messiah were those whose hearts were not in the right condition; else they would not have been left in darkness. 1 Thess. 5:4

Many things indicate to us that we are now living in a time corresponding to that Palm Sunday! Many things imply that Christendom is now undergoing its great test, and that only the fully consecrated of heart and life will be accepted of the Lord as His Jewels (Mal. 3:17), and be granted a share with Christ in His Millennial Kingdom. Many things imply that we are now in the time when the true people of God are being divided into two classes, as pictured for us by our Lord in the parable of the Wise and the Foolish Virgins. As only the Wise Virgins were prepared to enter into the marriage, so only the consecrated ones will be accepted as fit for the Kingdom and granted a share in the glorious resurrection change which will precede the culmination of the Time of Trouble, in which the Foolish Virgin class, although not of the world, will participate with the world.

True, that great Time of Trouble will usher in the glorious Millennial Dispensation, in which the Church in glory with the great Redeemer will pour out upon all mankind the wonderful restitution blessings promised by the mouth of all the holy Prophets. (Acts 3:19-21) True, the Foolish Virgins may subsequently get the oil, and [HGL705] subsequently may have a glorious future; but they will lose the choice place of Divine favor and blessing. They cannot be of the Bride class, but will receive their blessings under the figure of "the virgins her companions that follow her." Psa. 45:14

It is in order for all of God's people who now get awake from the slumber of worldliness which has long stupefied them, to join hearts and voices in a great shout the shout that the Kingdom is at hand!


As the Jewish nation was not ready to receive Jesus as their King, on that first Palm Sunday, neither is Christendom now ready to receive Him at His Second Advent. As then, only the "Israelites indeed," in whom there was no guile, knew the voice of the Shepherd, so will it be here an individual matter. The Laodicean period of the Chruch's history is upon us. (Rev. 3:17) The nominalism of our day is fully portrayed in our Lord's words to the Messenger of the Church at Laodicea. Christendom boasts that she is rich and increased in goods, and has need of nothing; she knows not that she is poor, miserable, blind and naked.

The Lord now stands at the door and knocks. He reveals Himself to the "Israelites indeed." Ours is a Palm Sunday in the highest possible sense. How are we receiving the great blessings which betoken the Parousia of the Master? Do we hear His knock? Are we searching His Word, listening for His voice and seeking to know His will in all things, that we may do it? To all such will come very shortly we believe, the greater and fuller Pentecostal blessing the resurrection change from the glory of character merely to the glory of persons as well when we shall see our Redeemer as He is and shall share His glory. 1 John 3:1, 2

As St. Paul says, "See that ye reject not Him that speaketh from Heaven!" Greater light, greater privilege, greater blessing every where, are ours than were those enjoyed by the Jews at our Lord's First Advent. These privileges and blessings are our tests. Let us be faith ful. Let us present our bodies a living sacrifice, and with renewed zeal seek to glorify our Lord in our bodies and our spirits, which are His, 1 Cor. 6:20

Those who have eyes to see and ears to appreciate the Voice now speaking from Heaven should be alert to hail Him Lord of all to accept Him as their Redeemer and King and to present themselves voluntarily to Him and His service not waiting for the time when He shall reveal Himself in power and great glory to the world in general. The Lord is now looking for saints, for overcomers, valiant, faithful, persevering, thoroughly devoted to Him and His Cause of Righteousness, thoroughly opposed to sin, and especially active in overcoming its domination in their own hearts, in their own minds, in their own bodies. Such the Master pictures as His joint-heirs, priestly kings, sitting with Himself in His Throne of glory and world-wide dominion.

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